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The expert view: Phosphorus is an essential element in animal nutrition

The expert view: Phosphorus is an essential element in animal nutrition

Written by Groupe Roullier / published in Expert Opinion

Phosphorus is a chemical element found in Phosphate rock. It is a necessary ingredient in the health and productivity of animals.

A specialist in the production and sales of mineral raw materials for animal nutrition, TIMAB Phosphates, a group subsidiary, develops the most digestible food phosphates possible, at its five factories. Karine Le Grand, Animal Nutrition Technical Supervisor with TIMAB Phosphates, explains the challenges involved.

The importance of phosphorus

As an element essential to the development, health and wellbeing of animals, phosphorus plays an essential role: it strengthens bones and improves growth. It is also essential for ensuring the hardness of eggshells and crustacean shells, amongst other assets.

”When animals have a sufficient quantity in their diet, phosphorus is retained by the skeleton. Where there is a deficiency, the body draws on its skeletal reserves” explains Karine Le Grand.

However, its role does not end there. It also plays a crucial role in animal reproduction, as phosphorus supports the energy metabolism. In fact, it has an effect at both cellular and DNA levels.

Phosphate, source of phosphorus 

In addition to their dietary intake, livestock animals require a phosphate intake to meet their phosphorus needs. To meet this, TIMAB Phosphates produces mineral phosphate, also known as inorganic phosphate, in powder, mini-semolina and semolina forms.

”To reduce phosphorus discharge in excrement, the challenge we face is to develop the most digestible phosphates possible,” reveals Karine Le Grand.

A challenge that our subsidiary has successfully met in developing NEOPHOS. The digestibility of this phosphate, which has been proven in zootechnical trials, enables animal intakes to be covered, whilst also reducing discharge.  NEOPHOS is the fruit of a lot of work by our R&D team and highlights our capacity for innovation.